The “One-Year-Old”: A Sociological and Behavioral Study

By Jac

This study was inspired by my daughter's exciting new ability to climb onto the bathroom countertop and suck her sisters' toothbrushes.

This study was inspired by my daughter’s exciting new ability to climb onto the bathroom countertop and suck her sisters’ toothbrushes.

It is a well-researched* scientific fact that a human child in its second year (aged 12-24 months) engages in only three activities.

1) Active play with a focused and involved caregiver. Specifically, “active play” can refer to peekaboo, fetch, hair pulling, crawling on the caregiver’s body, repeated unzipping of caregiver’s zipper, bringing caregiver books to read and then turning the pages too quickly for the book to be read successfully, repeatedly stuffing a small object such as a kinder surprise toy or a chapstick tube into caregivers mouth, and so on.

2) Seeking out and/or engaging in mischief, most often the sort of mischief that is dangerous to him or herself, or that results in long-term consequences to the surrounding environment, and that can therefore not be ignored by a conscientious caregiver. Examples of this include: taking the lid off and biting into caregiver’s deodorant, throwing ceramic objects down stairs, crawling into the open dishwasher, climbing onto table- and counter-tops and knocking food and dishes onto the floor, dumping liquid out of containers, pulling caps off pens/markers and drawing with those pens/markers, climbing railings, slamming his or her own fingers into kitchen drawers, playing with the toilet brush, walking or running unsteadily with a sharp object in his or her mouth, turning the knobs of the stove, and knives, to name just a few such activities.

3) Protesting the fact that a caregiver is preventing him or her from getting into the mischief of his or her choice. Protests come in the form of crying, screaming, whining, or flinging him or herself backward and banging his or her head on the floor.

The predictable outcome of this phenomenon is that a one-year-old’s caregiver is always engaging in one of two activities:

1) Active play with a one-year-old. Often at a cost to his or her own comfort and intellectual stimulation.

2) Ignoring something. Either a child getting into something potentially disastrous or a child’s insistent vocal and physical protestations.

Thus, this study indicates that toddler behaviour generally results in dissatisfaction from both the child and his or her parent. However, toddler behavior does have the bonus effect of making a child’s continued ability to nap even more beneficial and cherished.

In Conclusion: One-year-olds are freaking exhausting.

Another optional Active Play activity. Saying "Cheese."

Taking pictures is another optional Active Play activity.

*The research cited here is my own. I’ve had four one-year-olds, so it counts. Science said so. 

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2 thoughts on “The “One-Year-Old”: A Sociological and Behavioral Study

  1. Jodi Shaw

    I remember when my boys were one, my oldest now 16 walked at 6 months old and I’ve been a stress case every since LOL. He got into everything, pots and pans, food from the fridge, dish soap, even crawled into my dryer screaming at me to give him a ride OMG! Hang in there mama, we got your back!


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